Managing risk and liability associated with hip and knee implants
Hip and knee replacement surgery has proven to be among the great success stories of twentieth century medicine and technology. Orthopaedic surgeons and their patients expect and demand near perfect outcomes after hip and knee replacements. However, not every patient does well nor is every surgical procedure done without unanticipated outcomes. Every implant has inherent vulnerabilities and limitations that may lead to early or late complications in some circumstances. Given this environment, hip and knee arthroplasty surgeons must understand the risks and be able to manage the liability associated with the use of these implants. This paper reviews and discusses the key related issues for the surgeon, including reduction of preventable complications, the value of total joint registries and outcomes data, potential problems with new technologies and methods, conflict of interest and product liability. ©Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.